The SFGate article about Millie got me to thinking about our friend, Barry.
Barry spent his days on the corner of Noe and 17th Street in San Francisco, not far from our apartment. We'd greet each other cordially each morning as I made my way to work. By the time I returned home, he had usually moved on to the doorway of a business on Market Street, where the owner allowed him to sleep with a modest amount of shelter.
Barry rarely asked for money -- especially not from people he got to know. So the first interaction most people had with him was when they noticed he spent his days drawing. His talent is amazing. BR would occasionally pick up items for Barry at the corner store, and he would repay BR with art. It was important to Barry.
When BR was hospitalized over the holidays in 2007, Barry asked about him every day with a genuine concern.
When BR came home, and we were struggling to adjust to all the changes MS had thrust upon us, I would hear a gentle sweeping sound early in the mornings. Barry was out front clearing away the trash left behind by the previous night's revelers.
When I visited the Bay Area last November, I stopped by the old neighborhood. Barry was nowhere to be found. I hope you are well, friend.